Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
7,897 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed as a Christmas beer in 1948, this dark ale has rich flavors of mulling spices and caramel, with a smooth palate and warming finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Ratings: 7,897 |  Reviews: 2,394
Photo of dbaker61
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle. 15.5 degrees Plato. Brew date: Jan. 1, 2010; sell by date: Jan. 1, 2015.

Appearance: Coppery-brown with a hint of lighter red. Somewhat cloudy with a bit of sediment. Poured with a heroic 4 fingers of creamy tan head having very good retention. Left nice lacing.

Smell: Very fruity, with grape, currant, and apple notes.

Taste: Dark malt flavors dominate, with some of the fruitiness present in a supporting role. The 9% ABV is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Lots of carbonation in the mouth. Finished crisp and slightly sweet.

Overall: It has been years since I last had the Chimay Blue. Why did I wait so long? This beer has plenty of character, and is very drinkable. When drinking the 750mL, watch out for the sneaky 9% ABV. Also, careful with the cork; I only needed a very slight twist and the cork exploded out with a very loud and forceful "pop". I am pretty sure it would have bounced off the ceiling.

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Photo of thain709
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to tnip23 for sharing this at a Memorial Day picnic

A - Pours with a ruby-brown body that shows some cloudiness...the head explodes after the tiniest pour...four fingers tall, off white in color...the slow retention allows the head to appear rocky...lacing was left down the glass

S - The aroma brought fourth a lot of grapes...that actually made the beer have some winey aromas...there are other underlying dark fruits along with some lingering sweetness

T - These flavors work very well together...the dark fruit flavors stand out with dates leading the way...the added caramel and brown sugar sweetness never becomes overpowering...the grape/wine flavor is more subdued than the nose the beer warms it provokes stronger flavors along with some traces of alcohol

M - Medium bodied...almost on the full side...smooth with a nice carbonation level

O - A very good Belgian in my books...I tend to lean away from the style but I could not pass up the opportunity to try such a coveted beer...after reading previous reviews, I would love to try an aged version as this one was pretty fresh

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Photo of jman892
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep, dark brown, with a 1 finger tan head which does not linger, minimal lacing, and plenty of visible sediment

S - Nose is predominately white grapes, close to a white wine aroma, maybe with a bit of apple mixed in

T - Taste follows the nose, and it also has a very nice balancing sweetness. There is a lot of fruit within this one, mainly grapes, apples, and maybe raisins. Complex taste that is difficult to describe but very good

M - Well carbonated, dry and crisp. The 9% ABV is scarily well hidden

O - Exceptional drink. I always pass this by and the price is a bit restrictive for a single, but this is definitely something I will pick up on occasion. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of TOMHONE
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Smooth, creamy and extremely tasty. By far an absolutely fantastic beer. A joy to drink. We bought many a bottle in Brussels at the local grocery store. Not pricey at all. My pals thought they died and went to heaven. For they have never had a premium world famous brew before this.

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Photo of seabass87
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A slow pour reveals a healthy, but fizzy head that dissipates rather quickly with little retention. The color is really nice, light brown at the bottom fading into medium-dark brown up top. By the time you are 3/4 of the way done with your glass, it looks light copper. A small amount of visible carbonation.

S- Belgian yeast, dark fruits, an interplay of sweet and sour - as seems to be the norm with Belgian strong dark ales. Scent is more subtle than many of this style... Hard to tell what to expect.

T- A fair amount of carbonation is very noticeable up front, followed by a surprisingly mild array of ripe fruits (grapes, granny smith apples). Carries into a slightly yeasty taste. No alcohol taste or burn. In fact, it is among the sneakiest I have yet to try.

M- Medium body, but a rather large amount of carbonation makes this lighter and crisper than many of this style. Finishes dry.

O- I'm going to admit, my expectations were maybe too high for this beer. However, it ultimately is tasty and quite easy to drink. It's the most mild of this style I've yet to try. With the 9% ABV, this could deceptively turn into a session beer (albeit rather pricey).

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Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the wire-caged and corked 25 fl. oz. bottle stamped L10-611. Sampled on June 27, 2011. I have been meaning to get around to this one. It pours a cloudy dark, caramel brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is alive with dark cherry or grape-like fruits, figs, yeast, and a bit of alcohol punch. The body is full. While there is a bit of a sharp alcohol bite there are also plenty of Belgian candy sugars to sweeten it up and balance it right out. What more can I say? This is the Belgian Strong Ale that everyone strives to match.

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Photo of jgurley
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Warm brown with a great head and laces perfectly. Smells of rum raisin and dark fruit. Good dark malty flavor with raisin and dark cocoa. Very smooth and full bodied mouthfeel. Plenty Great balance of sweet and bitter. Very complex but very drinkable flavor. Wonderful.

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Photo of Tford
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours a very dark brown colour with a two finger light head.

S: It smells of malts and fruits, you can’t really tell which fruits though.

T: The malts are very strong at first, and then the fruits become stronger. Grape is the most obvious fruit, there is also apple and many more, it is quite complex.

M: This has a fairly heavy body with mid-high amounts of carbonation, it is very dry.

O: This is pretty good; however, I don’t like grape and there is a lot of grape hear. I would definitely recommend it if you like grape, and not if you don’t.

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Photo of Duff27
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a murky brown with an inch tan head. Good legs on the lacing with a swirl. Effervescene is never ending.

S- Slight grapes.

T- Follows the nose. Perhaps some green apples. Very complex.
Small yeast funk.

M- Carbonation fills the mouth. Beer itself is medium to medium-thin bodied.

D/O- 9% abv? Wow, wouldn't believe it. Could drink a few glasses if permitted. A real treat.

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Photo of Dodt
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

was surprised to find this on a new restaurant's beer list.
sort of wish the beer was served in appropriate glassware.
appearance a dark brown color , with a head that was light brown color.
taste wonderful the alcohol wasn't to strong in this beer .

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown and cloudy with a 3/4" tan colored head which lasted about 3 minutes.

S: Malt, pineapple, apple, maybe some orange rind.

T: Malt, sour apple, slight hint of cherries. Slightly boozy finish.

M: Great mouthfeel, high level of fine carbonation.

O: Love this beer. Always a good introductory beer to give people who have yet to try the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style. What I love most about this beer is the feeling in the belly afterward. It is the drink equivalent of a comfort food meal like ribs on the bbq along with some garlic mashed potatoes.

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Photo of PopScene
2.55/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1.5L bottle from 2011.

Most overrated beer i have drink.
Not bad but really far from a rochefort 8 or a st-bernardus 10.

The appearence is really beautifull for the style but when it comes to the smell, it's just a little bit about caramel and apricot but no more. The taste doesn't offer more than the smell but alcohol is quite well hidden. The mourhfeel is OK.

Finally, i think there are really more interesting beers in this type.

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Photo of jmeyers78
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A-Deep plum with a fluffy white head that held up well

S-Malty. Hints of yeast. Fruits and spice....pretty complex.

T-Sweet. Lots of malt. Fruit. A tiny bit of smokiness.

M-Full bodied and creamy

O-A good beer but not as complex or interesting as some other Belgian Strong ales

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is our first beer here at The Beer Sellar. Thanks to Tyler McCord for setting this up. Without him, I might not have even considered The Beer Sellar as a sponsor for the 1001 Bottles project. He is a regular here, living right down the road, and has introduced me to several people here already. Everyone seems to know him… sort of his personal Cheers!

The label is, well… blue! Hence the name I suppose. This is a Trappist beer, too. Do you know what a Trappist beer is? Well it’s managed by monks basically. I just posted a blog about it; go read that!

The beer smells spicy. Spicy and wet… but promises to be a decent ale. We have been drinking a lot of Belgian beers lately. Anyway, this beer is famous. Well, Chimay is famous. It’s a famous… Trappist beer. Lots of focus on the Trappist beers thus far. But that’s okay, I dig the ales.

There is a ton of carbonation on the front of the palate, but it dies quickly into a sweet treat. The aftertaste is subtle, but begs for another sip. The second drink isn’t as good, but it still leaves some huge sweet notes on the tongue. It’s pretty solid, but not sure it lives up to all the hype. There is another Chimay beer on this list; hopefully that one is better than this on. Bottoms up people!

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Photo of dfillius
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet.
A: Corking caused a loud POP! 1 finger of fizzy tan head with fair retention. Hazy reddish brown liquid. I'd like better head retention.
S: Slightly tart, lemon juice, apple cider, orange, citrus, delightful nutmeg, cardamom?. Amazingly diverse and inviting.
T: Sweet, sour, bready. Nice and diverse. Apple, caramel, toffee. No off flavors.
M: A bit too effervescent at first. This masks the flavor unfortunately. No warmth was a positive.
D: I'd order another and buy again. No sign of the 9% ABV.

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Photo of Buckettt
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark color. The head dissipated shortly after it was poured.

S- Sweet, fruity, malty. A strong smelling beer.

T- A dominating maltiness, with fruit notes. Very pleasing.

M- Very thin and very carbonated

O- I found it quite enjoyable, although I do prefer the taste of Victory's Golden Monkey when it comes to Belgian dark ales.

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Photo of Francepants06
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best of the chimays hands down. I poured it in my big chimay glass and got a head white to gray color.The look of this beer was dark orange to light brown. After the first sip of this beer, I couldn't stop till my glass was empty. It had a strong walnut, pecan, chestnut, nutmeg taste. Man this is a good beer.

re-tasted the 2008 1.5 liter bottle and man this beer proves that with some age this beer can just melt on your palet.

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Photo of jamespub
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brown with great carbonation. More carb than I've seen in other belgians of similar style. Great head that lingers and laces the glass beautifully.

S- dark fruits and malt. slight smell of alcohol, but not up there with roch 10.

T- Balanced. The alcohol is masked greatly. tastes of dark fruits, slightly bready, smooth as silk. the carbonation adds a lot to this beer. It is a unique carbonation that I haven't experienced yet.

M- great mouthfeel. once again, the carbonation is masterful. alcohol is hardly noticeable. the dark malts really shine through.

O- I simply waited too long to drink this beer. one of my top 5 belgians. thanks to imperial gout for sharing his 750. it paired very well with the filet. I have another bottle in the fridge I can't wait to crack open. I will probably hoard it I think I can manage the entire bottle over a few hours.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice very dark maroon- brown with a hint of red to it. A thin but quite present off-white head settles evenly across the top.

Sweet malts permeate the nose, lots of dark fruit. The smell of raisin and fig is noticeable. Belgian yeast is noticeable as well, along with a bit of alcohol. Very nice.

Taste is good, but a little disappointing after the nose, as it seems more subdued than the smell. The dark fruits are still up front, with sweet malt abounding, leaving a bit of a caramel taste. Alcohol is quite noticeable, and the finish is surprisingly dry.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a downer. Feels thinner than I would have expected, Carbonation is relatively high. Lacks the smoothness that I think would complement this beer.

I have had this beer a couple of times before, and remembering enjoying it more than I am now. Still very good, but not the gem that I recalled. Maybe either the bottle or I is off tonight!

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Photo of BrewmasterNate
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with a solid inch of foam that coats the sides.

S: Fruity and earthy with some light carmel malty smells to it.

T: Eathy, fruity, with heavy dried fruit flavors. A bit spicy to the tongue.

M: Solid thick mouthfeel that coats and washes down.

O: Overall a good brew, but not my favorite of the belgians.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Very deep brown with reddish highlights around the edges. Nice very light tan head one finger which doesn't stick around for much.
S. Deep dark fruits including figs, raisins, plums, some oddball apple esters peppered on top. Occasionally hints of freshly cut juicy ripe heirloom tomatoes, but mostly when its warmed up to room temperature.
T. Predominantly raisin bread with dark fruit jam on top of it. Dried apricots come briefly to visit and say hello, than leave just as abruptly. Strange wisps of mulling spice float around on your tongue, keeping company with an oddball earthy / mushroomy umami high-protein finish. After some time aging in the cellar I find that the sugary cloying nature of the fresh product has dampened out into a better balance with the thick yeast flavor. 3 years old is my personal preference for drying out the sugars maybe about halfway only. Also, the boozey hotness retreats even further into the background.
M. Feels like an entire meal in liquid form. Heavy flavors on an medium-heavy body. But it doesn't get oily. It does, however, make a lasting coating on the surfaces of your mouth. If you don't like how it tastes, you will be stuck with it for a while. The flavors of this one stay with you and even influence the character of any food you might have for quite some time afterward. For better or for worse, everything tasted for 10 minutes or so gets a condiment dressing of the flavor of Chimay Grande Reserve, so plan accordingly.

This is a special treat to get once in a while when you have extra money to burn, but a little bit too expensive to justify having as a 'usual suspect' in the fridge. If possible, I recommend cellaring for a couple years to dry out the excessive sweetness, that is when it really hits its prime.

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Photo of vrushing88
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my third bottle of Chimay.

I poured this into my Chimay Goblet. It pours a dark reddish, violet body with a large head that dissipates slowly.

The aroma is laden with malt and fruit characteristics (dark belgian, probably amber malt, and dark grape, tomato, fruits).

It tastes sweet at first, filling your mouth with strong fruit characteristics, and amber/caramel malt. It tappers off into a smooth tomato finish. It ends with a nice bitter flavor of light tomato and grape flesh.

It feels light, and airy, with complex heavy flavors. By far one of the best beers I have ever had the privilege to taste.

Highly recommend, especially with a nice meal, or post-meal.

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Photo of OliverTweek
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had Chimay many times before I decided to review it. It really was one of the first "higher class" beers I had. It wasn't until I had more that I realized how great of a beer I truly had.

Look: A nice, very bright caramel color, with a nice creamy, almost walnut colored head. While very carbonated, it is an easy pour that looks crisp and smooth.

Smell: I saw someone else on this site reference "figs" and I think that hits it dead on. A very sweet but not overpowering odor. Along with the figs, there are nutty, creamy, and slight coffee hints.

Taste: A very complex flavor, and a rich, earthy, sweet taste. The after taste is much more fruity than the initial one, very cirtrusy but both are great. You can certainly taste the alcohol, but unlike other beers with a similar abv, it doesn't overpower the beer, but compliments it.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is just right, not too bubbly, but not too flat. A little heavier than I would have liked, but with so much going on, it's not a detraction.

Overall: One of the best beers I've had, and certainly one of my favorites. There really is very little I can say bad about it, every thing seems to be in perfect balance.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's interesting how so many reviewers, both on this site and in reference material, taste different things in this beer. Here's what I got. Poured a massive ecru colored head which settled to lacing and traces. Color is a deep russet, almost cider-like. Smell has malt, raisins, figs, or basically dark dried fruits. Taste has more of the same and it's quite rich. There's an acidic zing which persists in one of the longest lasting finishes I've ever had in a beer. Clearly this deserves the world class status it holds. Of course I'd prefer if it were cheaper. And what I don't get from it, which I've seen other reviewers claim, is plum, pear, honey, or bubblegum. Say what?

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Photo of Tartarus
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip.

A&S: Pours an opaque reddish brown with about two fingers of head that bubbles and disappates quickly leaving small patches of bubbles along the edges of the glass. Smells of fruit and malts.

T&M: There is a lot going on with the taste: tons of fruitiness, a little hops, malts, a very delicious blend of flavors that mask the alcohol content well. Mouthfeel is very bubbly, carbonated, and light.

O: Very delicious. Very pricey, but very delicious.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,897 ratings